With face coverings now mandatory in all shops and on public transport in England, some may be finding it harder to interact with one another.
But now a new handy chart has been unveiled which decodes exactly what 32 different moods and emotions would look like from behind a mask.
The facial expressions in the chart, which was created by the team at Uncrowd, range from everything from infuriated and fearful to happy and extremely surprised.
It comes as new laws force customers to wear face masks in all shops, stations, banks and post offices, but there remains confusion across the country with different businesses having different policies on coverings.
A handful of the emotions featured on the chart include ‘zoned out and ‘wtf’, with each of the 36 moods carefully colour coded to indicate if it is a positive or negative emotion.
Richard Hammond from Uncrowd said: ‘Good retailers can read their customers like a book, but if their mouths are hidden behind masks, it’s a bit harder to work out what they’re thinking and feeling. Our at-a-glance guide should help to check the mood of a customer.
‘2020 vision was supposed to mean perfect eyesight. This year, with the pandemic and mask wearing, it’s taken on a slightly different meaning.’
Masks have been compulsory on public transport since July 15 after evolving scientific advice suggested they could help stop Covid sufferers without symptoms from spreading the disease.
But over the weekend, new laws were introduced to make face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets and enclosed shopping centres as well as train stations, banks, post offices, building societies, bus stations and airports.
Failure to comply could result in a £100 spot fine, although police forces have indicated they will only respond as a ‘last resort’. Scotland Yard said it hopes shoppers who refuse to wear masks will be ‘shamed’ into compliance.
A mask can only be removed in a shop for a small number of reasons, such as allowing staff to check someone’s identity or age or to communicate with a deaf lip reader. Shop staff do not have to wear coverings but it is ‘strongly recommended’ that employers ask them to do so unless they have other precautions such as screens.
The new rules are contentious, with some people finding masks uncomfortable and some libertarians complaining they are being ‘muzzled’ by the state.
But a survey over the weekend revealed that more than three-quarters of Britons are ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ clear on new face mask rules in England.
Data published by YouGov found that only 17 per cent of 3,094 people surveyed did not understand the new rules around wearing face masks in shops in England.
Some 40 per cent said the rules were ‘very clear,’ with 41 per cent confirming they found the measures ‘fairly clear.’